Lord Lawson, who ran Britain’s finances under Margaret Thatcher, refused to back down even when a female witness giving evidence to him took exception to the characterisation.
Carol Arrowsmith, a senior pay consultant with accountancy firm Deloitte, said it was ‘difficult’ to accept the suggestion that her profession was worse than prostitution.
‘It may be difficult but it may be true,’ retorted the famously outspoken Westminster grandee.
Lord Lawson, who as Nigel Lawson served as Chancellor under Margaret Thatcher, said pay consultants feared missing out on future advisory fees if they angered bank bosses by suggesting modest pay deals.
I discuss compensation consultants in my book Corporate Governance after the Financial Crisis. It's not a happy story, as Lord Lawson's complaint about their conflicts of interest is well taken for the most part, although I lack the expertise to know if his precise comparison has merit.